Gambian authorities arrested a photojournalist and videographer documenting the West African nation’s 2016 presidential election.
Alhagie Manka of State of Mic was arrested on Thursday by state’s National Intelligence Agency and his family and friends say they are uncertain about his precise location. Manga was first hired by The Gambia’s first female presidential contender to cover her rallies. He has since captured the most stunning images of politics in the small country.
The photojournalist was excited about taking pictures of The Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh, who was formalizing his presidential bid with the Independent Electoral Commission.
Manka’s photos of the country’s presidential race are the most used and circulated on social media. He was more excited about that than having media companies buying them to use on their websites. His company State of Mic is an international exchange project that focuses on music, video, and new media through which he seeks to establish a cultural bridge between young people in Holland and The Gambia and to create employment opportunities.
There has been a renewed crackdown on the press in The Gambia. At least three other journalists have been arrested this week alone including the director of the state broadcaster GRTS. Manka with his team was directing and producing a reality TV show, Rising Stars Africa on the network.
There is an outpour of demands for the release of this young man, much loved by all who said his has the most liberal mind and would work with anyone or anything.